If you’re traveling to the Malaysian state of Sabah, chances are it’s sun, surf and sand that you’re after. If you’re looking for something that’s a little less crowded than the more popular stretches of sand, Kelambu Beach is a good place to start. Less crowded than other destinations, Kelambu nonetheless offers ready access to speed boating, water skiing, swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear waters, and a white sand beach that is a perfect spot for family picnics.
For travelers looking to get their toes sandy as part of a brief interlude between terra firma and some world class scuba diving, the island of Sipadan (Malaysia’s only oceanic island) is tough to beat. Once dotted with resorts, access to the island has been severely restricted since 2002 (a mere 120 dives are permitted daily). Unusually deep dives are the order of the day, and they’re located just 60 feet (18 meters) off the beach. Even if diving isn’t your thing, and all you want is to kick back on one of the country’s most exclusive beaches, Sipadan should prove to be a rare treat.
Like Sipadan, the island of Mabul (with its beautiful beaches and massive reef) is ideally suited for the backpacking crowd. Another nearby option worth visiting is the Nation of Brunei (the so-called “Abode of Peace”).
Penang and Langkawi are good destinations for travellers with children. Both have an abundance of opportunities for swimming, fishing, sailing, water skiing, kayaking and snorkeling. Langakwi is a great place for tourists looking to experience some of the regional wildlife.